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'We want our kids to have the tools they need'

Zoe Greszler • Jul 19, 2018 at 4:00 AM

MONROEVILLE — The Monroeville school board replaced about 150 of the district student laptops.

The purchase of 150 HP Chromebooks for the elementary school cost the district about $34,500.

“This was something we had built into our budget and we it planned in our five-year forecast,” Superintendent Ralph Moore said.

“That’s something we’ve tried to do since I came here four years ago. We try to have strategic plans so it’s not a surprise or a risk and that’s worked very well for us. Obviously we need the P.I. (permanent improvement) levy to be approved for things like this (to continue), but this has worked very well.”

The district was pleasantly surprised when the the devices survived twice as long as they were projected to. 

“These laptop were six years old and their lifespan (when they were purchased) was projected only to be three years and we got an extra three years out of them,” Moore said. “That’s pretty good. Then we sold them and we got about $15 each out of them, which is good for Chromebooks that old.”

Given the age and speed of updates, Moore said the district “had to get new ones.”

“All our kids now take state tests online,” he said. “For those tests, a certain platform is needed to (run the program) and we needed computers anyway with the new platform to be able to do that, so the timing was just right.

“The students use them everyday in classroom,” the superintendent added. “We have a kindergartner through grade 12 technology program and expectations. We have technology standards that we work with and we’re continually getting teachers training on how to incorporate (technology in the classroom) each day.

“And for the older kids, they pay a fee and get to take their machine home. They use the same machine all the way through middle and high school so they don’t have to worry about having a personal computer. We provide that and make sure they have what they need. We want our kids to have the tools they need.”

The technology program was something started by the former administration, Moore said, adding that board was “very into technology and worked hard keep Monroeville on the cutting edge” by starting a one-to-one ratio of computers to students. He also said the district works to keep this standard up today since technology is “certainly a piece of the puzzle” in ensuring a successful future for the students.

In other board news, a $12,600 donation from Ted Caldwell was accepted for the work done on the Marsh Field buildings.

Caldwell, who also assists the district in coaching some of the students, did the district’s roofing on its recent project to repair roofs on the field house and concession stands. The total project cost was $26,000. However, Caldwell only charged Monroeville about $13,400.

“Teddy didn’t want any formal recognition, but we just really appreciated what he did,” Moore said. “You’ve seen a great level of volunteerism in the district and it’s because of those people that we (are able to do what we do).”

The board also approved a five-year contract renewal for treasurer Stephanie Hanna, which comes just after the district received its clean audit report.    

“Our audit came back and it was outstanding,” Moore said. “She (Hanna) does an amazing job.”

The results from the audit are public record and are available for any who want to view them. Those interested should contact the school board office. 

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